From her stint as one of the first stars of Comedy Central’s since-shuttered program @midnight to subsequently scoring her own stand-up special and late night show with the cable channel, Nikki Glaser has stood out as one of comedy’s best and brightest. Sadly Not Safe with Nikki Glaser was canceled in less than a year, a decision that both the comic and the cable outlet has since regretted. Thanks to an opportunity with Comedy Central Radio at SiriusXM (Channel 95) and some friendly advice from fellow comedian Craig Ferguson, however, Glaser is set to debut Not Safe‘s spiritual sequel with You Up.
Set to premiere February 26th and run every Monday through Thursday from 10 am to noon ET/7 to 9 am PT, You Up with Nikki Glaser will feature Glaser and friend Tom Thakkar carrying the Not Safe torch live from New York. From oversharing about their personal lives and getting and giving perspective on dating and sex, to dissecting pop culture and trying to understand the news, the pair’s new program is the second original radio show to debut on Comedy Central’s SiriusXM channel. It’s also housed in the same building as Howard Stern‘s seminal program, about which Glaser is really excited.
How did You Up come about? Did Comedy Central approach you, or did you approach them?
I caught wind that Comedy Central was looking to do a morning radio show on their SiriusXM channel. I’m a fan of SiriusXM and Howard Stern, and I was doing a lot of appearances on Craig Ferguson’s show at the time. He was the first person to put it in my head that I should be doing radio. He said, “You should have your own show!” It made sense. I’ve done podcasts since I was a wee child and I do radio every weekend whenever I’m on the road promoting my stand-up. It’s just something that has always come easy to me, and it’s a medium that I enjoy consuming even more than TV.
Craig’s advice coincided with me hearing about Comedy Central’s wanting a show, so I called SiriusXM and I said, “I’ll do that morning show if you guys are still looking for a host.” They told me Comedy Central had a couple of names they were considering, but I insisted I was going to do it. I basically demanded it because I knew they had really loved Not Safe despite its cancellation. That was something we both regretted letting go of. I actually had a hand in canceling it. We both kind of stepped away from it, and we were both looking for an opportunity to work together again. Well they laughed, said they would consider my offer, and thanked me for my moxie.
Then I got a call less than two weeks later that they wanted me to do the show. I’ve spent my whole career feeling undeserving of the things I’ve accomplished. I feel like I’ve tricked my way into things, or that I’ve convinced people I’m talented when I’m actually not. It’s a feeling that a lot of women in this business have. But I’ve been doing this for so long that I now know what I’m good at. I know what I can offer and it seemed like a no-brainer for both sides. They’ve been great to work with. It’s nice to get a show and then hear them say, “Okay, what do you want to do?” Having that question precede everything has been wonderful. I didn’t even pitch them a specific show. They just gave me one and said I could do whatever I wanted, and they’ve been really supportive of what I decided to do.
Based on the description, it sounds like a radio sequel to what you were doing with Not Safe.
I know where my strengths lie and I’ve been pretty open about my personal life. I like to talk about meeting people, sex, relationships, and pop culture. This is basically a mixture of Nikki & Sara Live, a show I did on MTV years ago, and Not Safe. I have one of my best friends who I take out on the road with me, Tom Thakkar, as my co-host. He’s basically my second chair in this, and we’re just going to do this radio show during the week and hit the road on the weekends. We’re basically a team. We’ve been working together for five years now and we have a great relationship. It’s a great dynamic and I love it. I knew that Tom was someone I could bring in who I could make fun of and, in turn, could make fun of me. We’re pretty good at giving each other shit. And he’s also really emotionally vulnerable, which is so hard to find in most men. That’s what I wanted in a co-host, because I definitely prefer to talk about real stuff and he is able to go there.
I’ve heard you and Tom together on other podcasts before, but I’ve never seen you perform together. Even so, I was sold as soon as I heard his hotel story from a recent tour you two did together.
That’s awesome because you’re going to get that. We will definitely be telling the story of the time he accidentally saw me naked in a hotel. It’s like having your brother see you naked. It’s bound to happen because you’re living in the same places, but that doesn’t make it any less awkward.